Looking for Regional Information?


By Charles Hopkins Published 03/13/2006 | Games

Texas Holdem has become by far the most popular poker variation today, and many are rushing to find the rules. However, an intrinsic part of Texas Holdems rules is Texas Holdem slang or jargon. So here it is, in alphabetical order:

      Bad Beat: When you lose a hand despite having strong odds win your favor. For example, if you were holding pocket Aces against a player holding pocket 2s, and your opponent ended up beating you by hitting another 2 on the last card, you would have suffered a bad beat.

      Big Slick: Refers to holding an Ace and King as your two pocket cards.

      Blinds: Texas Holdem is based on what is called a blind structure, meaning that two players at the table must place a bet before seeing their cards. Since they are forced to bet without seeing their cards, or are playing blind, those bets are called blinds.

      Board: The board refers to the community cards dealt face up on the table. In Texas Holdem, there will ultimately be five community cards on the board, not including the two pocket cards dealt to each player.

      Button: Also called the Dealer Button, this is a white puck that indicates the dealers position on the table. The Dealer Button rotates around the table, so each player takes turns being on the button.

      Check-raise: The act of checking a hand, in hopes of luring your opponent to bet, so that you may then raise over him and build a bigger pot to win.

      Flop: This is when the first three community cards are dealt on the board. The fourth card is called the turn, and the final, fifth card is known as the river.

      Flush Draw: A hand where you have 4 of the 5 cards needed to make a flush. For example, if you are holding two clubs, and the board flops two more clubs, you would be holding a flush draw. You would need to draw an additional club to complete the flush.

      Gut Shot:  A hand where you have 4 of the 5 cards needed to make a straight, but your 4 cards are not in sequence, and you need a single card in the middle of your straight to complete the straight. This type of hand is also known as inside straight draw.

      Kicker: This is your tie-breaking card. For example, if you hold an Ace and King, and the board shows Ace, 5, 8, 2 and 6, you will have a pair of Aces with a King kicker. Your opponent may also hold an Ace, but with a weaker kicker, in which case you win the showdown.

      Limp: To limp into a Texas Holdem hand refers to calling the minimal bet to play your hand.

      Maniac: This is a player who plays ultra-aggressively, making big bets on poor cards, throwing money around in the hopes of winning by bluffing and intimidation. Important: A maniac may be a big source of profits!

      Muck: The act of folding ones hand without showing the cards

      Nuts/ Nut Hand: This is the best possible hand at that particular moment. In other words, there is no hand that you can lose to at that moment.

      Pocket Rockets: Also known as American Airlines, because it implies that you are holding two Aces as your pocket cards. AA, get it?

      Rake: This is the commission the house takes from every pot. The rake can be set dollar amounts or a percentage of the pot, depending on the casino.

      Semi-bluff: The act of betting on your hand when your hand is not made yet. So if you have four cards to a straight or flush and you place or raise a bet, you have a chance of bluffing your opponent out of the pot or hitting the card to complete your hand.

      Slow Play: The act of intentionally under-playing a very strong hand in the hopes of tricking your opponent into thinking that he/she has done you in, which leads to him/sher betting more in later rounds.

      Smooth Call: The act of just calling a bet or raise with a very strong hand to conceal your strength and keep the attention on the initial raiser.

      Stone Cold Bluff:  The act of betting with no real possibility of winning the hand if your bet is called. In other words, you rely on your opponent folding.

      Tilt: This refers to a player who is angry, upset, or emotionally unstable, affecting his/her game in a negative manner.

So that, dear Texas Holdem aficionados, is a fairly comprehensive list of Texas Holdem slang, so the next time you go online hunting for a table, you know your Ps and Qs!